The hood favorites
The streetball season of 2017 has kicked off complete with all of the show stopping crossovers, ruthless crowd heckling and hilarious commentary that you’d come to expect from an NYC game. With so much talent spread throughout the city, it may be hard to know who to play close attention to. Gritty Vibes has you covered. In no order, here are ten players to keep any eye out for on the blacktop this summer.
James often gets mentioned with Lamar Odom due to the fact that both are slithery lefties from NY who balled at Rhode Island. When he’s in attack mode though, he can easily be compared to James Harden. You know Delroy James is headed left, but with a plethora of hesitations, euro-steps and counters, you just can’t stop him.
Ryan “Bird” Pearson
For what Pearson may lack in size, he definitely makes up for in grit, skill and craftiness. The left handed big man is elusive in the post and is a tough cover for players at his position. His mid range jumper drops enough to keep defenders honest and around the rim he has a package of floaters and up and unders that defenders just can’t seem to block. He starred at Christ The King before taking his game to George Mason, where he was on of the better mid major players in the nation.
If you want to play flashy and wow the crowd, you may pick another guard in the city, but if you want to win, Boothe is your guy. He’s hard nosed, he consistently makes the right play and he’s extremely unselfish. The Queens guard is a natural leader who starred at Christ The King before heading to St Johns where he led his senior laden team to the NCAA tournament for the first time in years. He’s allergic to turning the rock over and makes up for whatever he lacks in height with tremendous heart.
Kavon “Happy Feet” Lytch
Lytch might not be the quickest or the highest flying big, but in the paint, he’s definitely among the hardest to stop. He earned his name from his shifty ability to get a post defender off balance, and once that happens, it’s goodnight. Lytch is a master at spinning off of defenders and using his size to finish with contact. He’s a pro at trash talk as well, so when he finishes on you and gets the foul, he’s gonna let you, your coach..and the crowd know all about it.
Holloway is nothing short of a legend at his alma mater Xavier University and his cool, calm and collected game translates perfectly to a streetball setting. The former A-10 player of the year has a balanced game and can score on all three levels of the court. He’s played everywhere from overseas, to the D-League and even touched the NBA, so when he suits up on the opposing team, just know he’s about to give out some pro work.
Levance Fields’ game can be summed up perfectly by his Brownsville neighborhood’s motto: Never ran, never will. Fields has gone toe to toe with some of the illest in streetball and always comes out with his buckets. From his epic duel with Erving Walker last year to his match up with current St Johns star Shamorie Ponds this summer, Fields is proven. He balled at Xaverian and Pitt before becoming a pro, and he still shows love to the hood, dropping 40 on your favorite guards every summer.
Hunt is a big who plays true to his size, dominating opponents with his chiseled 6’10 build. He is a classic post with a menu of moves with his back to the basket, most notably his signature jump hook. When faced up against another big, he is versatile enough to beat them off the dribble and finish above the rim. The former Middle Tennessee State stand out is a consistent threat for opponents on the block and one of the few pure bigs in the city.
Darryl “Truck” Bryant
Truck has earned his stripes on the blacktop as well as the pro ranks, combining a floor general’s headiness and handle with a bully’s mentality around the rim. True to his nickname, Truck is a big-time mismatch problem for smaller guards. The St Raymonds high school’s all time leading scorer and former West Virginia star is a problem, and he knows it.
Joel “Air Jamaica” Wright
Wright is notorious around the streetball realm for his mean streak and unmatched ability to cram one on just about anyone in the city’s head. The former Thomas Jefferson star played at Texas State and was also one of the better bigs in the NBA D-League. Wright is perfect for the in your face brand of basketball in the big time tournaments, and he’s gonna bring it night after night.
The 5’8 guard is probably the best shooter in the city. When he gets hot, its gonna be a long night for whoever’s in front of him, particularly at Gersh Park, where the Brooklyn bred Walker is a home town hero for the crowd. The former Florida Gator and Christ The King star is in range when he enters the park and does just as much damage overseas as he does on the blacktop. Word is, the Knicks latest draft pick Frank Ntilikina was pushed out of his natural position overseas because his teammate Walker had the one spot on lock.